Major kudos, Victoria! Art faculty member Victoria Hutson was recognized as the 2017 Outstanding eLearning Faculty on February 20, 2017 at the annual Instructional Technology Council (ITC) eLearning Conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. ITC is an affiliated council of American Association of Community Colleges (AACC). ITC only chooses one or two nominees to receive an ITC Award for Excellence in eLearning for Outstanding Faculty. In 2017, only Victoria earned this recognition.
An educator for over 33 years, Victoria has taught online for over fifteen years. Since 2001, she has designed and taught multiple art history lecture courses as well as highly engaging online studio arts courses, including digital photography, digital drawing, digital painting, and 2D digital design.
The award recognizes her development of more than 200 instructional videos; focus on providing online students accessible materials and personal feedback (including audio feedback on their visual works); ongoing professional development pursuits; and commitment to meeting each student where they are at by assessing their pre- and post-skills and personalizing instruction to meet their needs.
Dean of Liberal Art and Science Hanna Erpestad, who wrote the award nomination, noted that Hutson was nominated by a team of faculty who peer reviewed her work which includes a commitment to teaching digital painting and drawing fully online.
“As an educator, Victoria is constantly evolving—always with her students’ needs in mind. As an experienced online educator, Victoria has pursued a wide variety of professional development experiences, including courses in Online Digital Arts and Environment Design for Games from the Computer Graphics Society based in Australia and several online courses from Schoolism.com.
Her sabbatical project in 2009 focused on incorporating multimedia and interactive instruction into her courses, resulting in several interactive online course components using Adobe Captive software. In 2015, she was awarded another sabbatical leave to research best practices in close captioning that resulted in the development of additional 156 videos for two art classes, far exceeding the goal of 40-50 videos. Currently, her Digital Painting I course alone has 201 videos! Using brief videos, Victoria believes strongly in involving online students in “hands-on” learning. She understands the importance of presenting new material in manageable portions. For several years, she has also provided her students video feedback that students can view multiple times. Integrating fine arts instruction with strong technology components, her courses can aptly be defined as STEAM (STEM + humanity) courses. It is not uncommon to see several students from health career and industry programs enroll in her courses. Victoria is committed to creating online learning experiences that are significant and lasting regardless of what the student’s career path is, recognizing that many of her art students will never pursue a career in art—but they can realize new skills, knowledge, creativity, and awareness.”